LED light bars have been popular among motorists for a long time now. What we initially had were fluorescent and incandescent light bars, also called spotlights by some. Later, halogen gained popularity for a time until the emergence of LED technology. Today truck owners and even smaller vehicle drivers use light bars powered by LED technology to light their way through the dark.
1. What are LED light bars for?
2. LED light bar headlights
3. LED light bar vs. Spotlights
4. LED light bar vs. halogen
5. How to install LED light bar?
6. How to wire a LED light bar without a relay?
7. How to wire a LED light bar to a switch
8. How to test a LED light bar?
9. How to repair LED light Bar?
10. Where to buy LED Light Bar
11. How to choose a LED Light Bar
In this article, we will let you know all there is to know about LED light bars and what to look out for when buying LED lights. We will also reveal to you common reasons why your might bars may not work as well as it should and what you can do to remedy the situation. Read on to know more.
What are LED light bars for?
A LED light bar is a multi-dimensional auxiliary lighting instrument used for off the road purposes. Large and medium trucks use LED light bars. They are also used by smaller cars, SUVs, motorbikes, and heavy industrial machinery like tractors and excavators.
This light bar is powered by Light-emitting diode technology and comes in either single or double row lights. LED light bars can be mounted on the front of the vehicle, on a bull bar, above the windscreen, or on any body part of the vehicle using a mounting bracket.
LED light bar uses
LED light bars are multifunctional and can be used in just about anything or area. Today, it will interest you to know that there are LED bars for
- Bar aquarium
- Bar beacon
Be it moving objects or lighting up dark areas, LED light bars can serve general lighting purposes. But they are widely used in vehicles.
LED light bar headlights
Headlights enable drivers to see their way through the dark. Since the introduction of LED, many drivers prefer using LED headlights above other traditional lighting systems. LED lights come in different colors, so you can use them for lighting purposes and beautification purposes. Some common headlight colors commonly used by motorists include
- White LED light bars
- Black LED light bars
- Green LED light bars
- Blue LED light bars
- Yellow LED light bars
- Color Changing LED light bars
- Multi-colored LED light bars
Curved LED light bar
In terms of shape, we have flat or straight light bars and curved ones. Both are equally good, but some people prefer the curved bar because they fit well into the curvature of most cars. For those who prefer to mount their light bar low, the shape of the curved bar fits well with the bumper.
If you also prefer to mount your light bar on top of your car, a curved bar will also fit nicely with your windscreen. Curved bars come in different sizes, and they are graded on inches. You have the option of going for any of the following sizes.
- 30 inches
- 32 inches
- 42 inches
- 50 inches
- 52 inches
Waterproof LED light bar
Besides the shape of the light bar, you also have to consider buying a waterproof light bar. Although most light bars are, some are better protected from water and windy elements than the others.
If you prefer to joint your light bar low, going for a water-resistant bar is the only way to safeguard your investment. Water penetration generally damages the light bar, and in only a few months, you may be forced to seek a replacement.
LED light bar vs. Spotlights
Spotlights were the main external lighting system for cars before LED came along, but they are still widely in use today. Spotlights may work well, but they have their limitations. Limitations that LED was introduced to resolve. LED is much better than spotlights for the following reasons.
- LED light bars are not susceptible to dark spots common with spotlights
- They function as both spotlights and floodlights due to their brightness
- Most LED bars are prefabricated to fit in any part of your vehicle
- LED bars are both vibration and shock-resistant
- LED light bars are more durable than spotlights
LED light bar vs. halogen
Halogens have also been highly reliable lighting options for many years now. This technology uses filaments to create a light, and they are inexpensive compared to LED. But in terms of lighting quality, are they are good as LED? The short answer is no. One of the main deficiencies of Halogen is the 95% of power loss since the system only uses 5% of the current it consumes to produce light. The majority of consumed power is lost through heat.
LED, on the other hand
- Wastes little or no power
- Has an average of 50,000 lighting hours
- Are more durable
What LED light bar size is ideal for rzr 1000?
For the rzr 1000, a 30inch curved bar in front and another 30inch curved bar straight behind is ideal and will fit properly.
How to install LED light bar?
Here are the steps to follow if you want to install your LED light bar on your vehicle. If you follow these steps through, you will have no need for a mechanic or an electrician to do it for you at extra cost.
Step 1 – Get your vehicle ready
The first step to take is to disconnect the car battery. Carefully remove the ground terminal wire first before removing the positive terminal wire.
Step 2 – Prep your Lightbar for installation
Choose a perfect spot on your vehicle to mount the light bar. Make sure the spot is suitable and sturdy enough to hold the weight of the bar. Also, ensure that the spot is suitable for hole drilling. Now you need to mark the spot or spots you have earmarked for drilling and drill the holes carefully. After drilling, attach the bolts and screw them but not too tightly.
After installing the screws, untangle the wiring harness to identify the wires. The wires you are looking for are the
- Red power cable
- Black ground cable
- Positive and negative connector wires
Step 3 – Fix the Switch
Detach the switch wires from the harness and route them back to the dashboard. Once you identify a perfect spot, use an adhesive to hold it in place. Then reconnect the other end of the switch wire to the wiring harness.
Step 4 – Position the cables and relay
Bolting the relay anywhere on your firewall is your choice as long as it is not far away from your battery. Take the positive cable and which is often red in color, and mount it on the red battery terminal. Next, attach the black negative cable to the chassis. Avoid placing the sites close to hot zones to prevent melting.
Step 5 – Wire the light bar
The concluding part of the process is to wire the light bar. Run the light be connectors from the harness to the light bar itself. Hook the connectors accordingly (black to black and red to red). With everything in place, revert back to the brackets to adjust for a suitable angle. Having done that, secure the bolts by tightening them.
Now, you can turn your LED light bar on.
How to wire a LED light bar without a relay?
Items you need: Light harness, Drills, screws, sockets, electric tape.
Step 1 – Mount the bar
The first step is to mount the bar on your car. Just pick a sturdy location that will not compromise the general functionality of the vehicle.
Step 2 – Disconnect the Negative Terminal
Disconnect the negative terminal from the car battery as a safety precaution.
Step 3 – Mount the Bar
Before mounting the bar, identify a spot from whence, it will be easy for you to access the switch inside the vehicle. An ideal spot is a spot you can easily reach with one hand while driving. Once you have identified a spot, run the switch through an accessible firewall to the engine. Connect the wire from the switch to the Lightbar.
Step 4 – Connect the harnesses
Now is the time to connect your harnesses. Connect the plug to the switch, and the other end to the earth power source.
Step 5 – Prepare your LED light bar
Finally, use electric tape to cover up naked wires and plugs. Now, reconnect the negative terminal to the car battery. Check to make sure that all connections are secure. With everything in place, switch the light bar on.
Please note: The installation steps highlighted in this article require some level of expertise. If you are not confident enough to do it on your own, I suggest that you hire a mechanic to handle the installation for you to avoid mistakes.
How to wire a LED light bar to a switch
If you want to wire your light bar to a switch, here are the things you need to do.
- Choose your LED light bar
The factors that will determine the type of bar you choose should be the lifespan of the light bar and the color temperature. Bars with a much higher color temperature are better than others with lower color temperatures.
- Choose an adequate power supply
The power supply is vital. If you pick a power source that is not suitable for your light bar, it will not work as well as it should. Read the manufacturer’s manual of the light bar and select a power source that provides the same amperage and voltage value.
- Select the Resistor
Picking the right amperage and voltage will help you decide on the resistor your light bar requires. Avoid picking huh current resistors as this may blow up the LED light.
With all three steps taken above, these are the next steps you should take to wire your LED bar to a switch.
- Ensure that the switch is in the “off” position. Now, use the wire to connect one part of the resistor to one switch terminal. With the wire in place at both ends, solder the wire on both sides.
- Connect the other end of your switch to your power source’ positive side and mark the end with the (+) sign, then solder both ends
- Now use a wire to connect the power supply with the positive sign to your LED light.
- Turn the switch on to see your light come on
How to test a LED light bar?
Here is the step to take to properly test your light bar:
- Step to take: Check the power source. Little or no power will lead to poor or no light generation at all. Remember, the power source is your vehicle’s battery, so do the following.
- Evaluate the age of your battery: If your battery is very old, it may not be able to produce the amount of voltage your light needs to turn on. Use a multi-meter to test your battery to see if it has 12 volts when the engine is off and 14 volts when the engine is on. If the voltage is below 12 and 14, respectively, you will need to get a new battery for your car.
- Wire connections: Check for loose connections that may restrict power flow from the battery to the LED light. Tighten all battery terminals according to the specifications.
- The above is the first step. The second step involves bar wiring harness inspection.
- Ground and Bar Power: Examine the ground and power connections and ensure that they are not corroding and that they are properly connected.
- Fuse: Inspect the fuse carefully, especially the conductive strip mostly made with metal. Confirm that it hasn’t blown out. If the fuse is bad, you can replace it with a new one with the same power rating.
Why is my LED light bar flashing?
Several factors could be responsible for this. LED lights normally flicker or grow dim if there are voltage fluctuations, especially if wire loads trip on and off. If your light is constantly flashing, you might want to seek the help of a professional to fix the problem.
How to repair LED light Bar?
Has your lightbar stopped working completely, or is it only working partially? Here are steps you can take to fix both issues.
If your light has stopped working
First, make sure that the light is not mechanically defective. You can find out by plugging the light into a power source. If it fails to come on, do the following:
- Be sure that the switch is still supplying current to the light bar
- Examine the connections to be sure that there are no loose wires. If there are, fix the wires
- Check to see if the earth is secured and mounted as it should be
If you do the above and the light still doesn’t come on, this is an indication that it is defective, so you may want to return it to the seller for a replacement if your warranty still holds.
If your light is only working partially
LED bars may work partially for the following reasons:
- Low power supply: If the voltage flowing through is too low, the bars will not come on every time. Low voltage will cause the light to dim or bring about alternative light patterns. In worse cases, the light may not even come on at all. Make sure your car battery is well charged. Also, double-check for loose wires.
- Poor earth: Poor earth connection may be another reason why your light isn’t coming on all the time. To check for earth connection, move the earth wire from the car’s chassis to your battery’s negative terminal
Which LED Light Bar is the brightest?
There are several great products on sale, but in terms of brightness, PX Series remains the brightest LED light bars in the market. Let us further add that brightness is not the only feature that makes Lightbars tick, but it remains an essential feature.
Where to buy LED Light Bar?
Buying gadgets online is becoming popular by the day. These days, you can buy almost anything online, including LED light bars. Some very popular and reliable platforms to purchase quality lighting products include:
How to choose a LED Light Bar?
When choosing a LED light bar, there are certain features that you ought to look out for. Keeping an eye out for these features will help you avoid light bars that don’t serve your purpose. Find below some of the features to consider when selecting light bars for your car.
One of the major reasons why you are buying a LED light bar in the first place is to get crystal clear illumination, isn’t it? So brightness has to be considered when shopping for one. LED brightness is measured in lumens. A 40 watt traditional light bulb is equivalent to 450 lumens of the LED light.
As a general rule, do not buy a light bar that can not generate at least 2,000 lumens or more. Also, be mindful of using light bars with intense illumination so as not to cause traffic accidents due to the vision blurring of other motorists.
You also want to pay close attention to the wattage. The best light bars can produce sufficient brightness using less power. If your car battery recharges itself while the engine is running, power consumption may not matter to you but if you like your LED lights on even when the engine is on, consider going for a bar that produces more illumination.
IP Ratings refers to the measure at which the light bar is protected from external elements like mud, sand, water, and other particles. An IP Rating of 67 or more is better than a lower IP Rating. A higher rating is an indication that the light is amply protected.
Brand reliability remains one of the cleverest ways to assess quality. Top brands produce bars that are durable and effective. Good brands that come to my mind include Phillips, Hella, and Osram. Before you purchase a light bar, make sure that you do quick research on the manufacturer to ensure that you are buying only the best quality.
The argument rages on regarding who the best LED light bar manufacturing company may be. Buyers and analysts have their favorite brands; however, some brands like Osram, Cree, and Hella have managed to stand out. Philips, however, remains the world leader as far as lightning is concerned.
Due to price differences, feel free to go for a brand whose product you can afford.
LED Light Bars provide not just drivers but also incoming motorists with sufficient illumination, especially at night. Durability is essential when reviewing LED light bar products to buy because the light will constantly be exposed to weather elements.
The light color you also go for is also important. Whichever brand you choose to go for, just mar sure that the product ticks all the boxes for suitability, affordability, and longevity.
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